Saturday, February 11, 2012

Strong women

Lately, I've noticed a fascination with strong women. TV shows like NCIS, Bones, Unforgettable, and many others all feature a female lead that can truly hold her own against the bad guys. One of my favorite movies from a few years back is Miss Congeniality; Sandra Bullock made us look at pageant beauties in a whole new light.

On facebook, you can even "like" a page called "Strong is the New Skinny". Don't you just love it! Seems like everyone is getting on the "tough girl" wagon. Nike even has a new commercial featuring a woman in the gym who is putting the guys to shame.

When I was a teenager, the female role models looked much different. While I'm not quite the "Twiggy" generation, fitness wasn't really something anyone had really discovered. Girls might have been thin, but muscles didn't really seem to exist. In the movies, the women were always victims. They were all in need of someone to "rescue" them, and they often relied on manipulation and trickery to "get the guy". It's a wonder that any of us managed to move beyond those mental images...

I'll be honest, I love the idea of becoming a strong woman, too. I want to be able to hold my own at work, in a fight, or in any situation. On my computer at work, I have a picture of Mila Kunis as her character from the end of The Book of Eli. Inside I want to be that warrior woman - facing whatever the future holds - defending her home and those she loves.

I think that while women want to be strong, we have to admit that at times what we need most to have that someone we know will allow us to put our guard down and simply rest. For some of us, that person is our husband. We are lucky enough to have someone who supports our desire to be strong, who is unafraid of a "warrior" woman. They see their wives strength as a reason to celebrate and are not intimidated by it. (I guess it takes a real man to not be afraid of a woman who can "lift her weight" and has a punch that would knock out anyone foolish enough to mess with her or their family.) 

But no matter if you have that significant other or not, you can have that someone to run to. 
Jesus has promised to be a strong tower to where we can run. He is our true "rescuer". God is truly the One who allows us to lay down our sword and rest from the daily battle.  "He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me." Psalms 144:2

I also know that God doesn't have a problem with "strong women"; after all, he included stories of women like Deborah in the Bible. She was a warrior, a judge, and a leader. Think Abigail - she was a strong woman who saved her whole household by bravely facing danger. Esther - that was a strong woman who faced not just fear, but possible death in order to save a nation. All examples that godly women can be strong! Strong women are able to do what God calls them to and stand in the gap for those they love!

As I think about it, all these examples of "strong women" we are seeing on tv and in the movies are just the world recognizing what God has always known and planned. We are more than conquerors in Him who gives us strength.....the world wants what God has promised - whether they know it or not. Yep, strong is good - especially when it comes from our Father God.

Psalm 18:2 -  "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

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